“Scared” is the feeling most mums get when they think of getting back into the workforce even part time after several years of child care. This is mainly caused by the fear of being under qualified or of being redundant due to rapid changes within the workforce, both technology-wise and process-wise, during their years of absence. However, this doesn’t need to be a cause for worry. All one needs is a smart resume.
Turn Your Mothering Experience Into Marketable Job Skills
A smart resume turns what seem to be drawbacks into strengths. A statement of strengths as opposed to a statement of apologies is a resume that will get attention. A good resume that recognizes that the gap in work history was filled with new experiences that are not necessarily acquirable in the usual workplace but can give an edge and boost performance in the workplace. Essentially, make sure to summarize your experiences learned working at home that can be transferred to the workplace.
So how does one go about creating a smart resume? Simple. Package all your experiences in a professional manner. For example, being a mum raising kids requires one to be committed to the task at hand. There are no breaks from such a responsibility. This brings about the aspect of being exceptionally committed, loyal and dependable. These are all characteristics that are favored by employers and should hence appear as part of your strengths as based on your experience.
Being a mum also requires a high degree of long term and short term planning, decision making, organizational and management skills for activities like having birthday parties, taking children to and from school, relating with other mums in the community or neighbourhood groups, PTA activities etc. These activities also require one to be time conscious and these are skills that every employer wants within their firm.
Other positive traits that come with the territory of being a mum include having to spend time doing charity and volunteering. Such skills are important to companies that advocate corporate social responsibility and giving back. There’s also the aspect of “soft skills” necessary for one to be a mum, that are favored by certain kinds of jobs. These skills include empathy and understanding, slow to anger, firm with correction, conflict and resolution management and a natural desire to guide and protect. These are qualities very much appreciated in careers such as nursing, teaching, customer service representatives, etc.
Gain New Job Skills While You Are Mothering
In short, the time spent outside the workforce by mothers, should not be looked at as time wasted but a chance to also relax and engage in other activities and pleasures that life has to offer. And depending on one’s financial situation, it’s a great time to engage in updating one’s resume by gaining some more education especially as regards new technologies such as software and computing. All this can be accomplished part-time without having to sacrifice on the family roles. One can also choose to engage more in their hobbies or pick up new ones such as e-book writing, mat making, etc. The more tangible the results of the hobbies are the better as this creates a portfolio that can be used when one is ready to get back into the working world.
Clear Resume Presentation
In the end, being a stay-at-home mom has many great advantages and if you can write them clearly and concisely on your resume, you should be a highly competitive job applicant. Be proud of your experiences and make the most of your situation and you will be happily employed in whatever career you want in no time.
This article was contributed by Erik Bowitz, a consultant at Resume Companion, a contributor to Copy My Resume, a free resume help resource. He has helped thousands of stay-at-home mothers rework their resumes so that they can find better employment faster.